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A Breakdown Of Every Song J-Hope Performed At Lollapalooza

On July 31, BTS member J-Hope made history as the first Korean headliner of a major music festival with his appearance at Lollapalooza. The performance came on the heels of his Jack in the Box album release and the announcement of a “new chapter” for BTS, in which the members agreed to focus more on solo music. J-Hope’s Lollapalooza setlist was met with extreme fan anticipation — would he perform old favorites? All new songs from his new era? Would any BTS songs come up?

Hobipalooza, as it was affectionately dubbed, was wildly popular. Over 100,000 people attended the final day of the festival, when J-Hope was performing, and fans were camped out in front of his stage as soon as the festival opened, even though he was the last performer of the night. And that’s only the people that were there in person — millions around the world streamed his performance online through Weverse, even leading to the app crashing because of high demand.

Want to know what was so magical about J-Hope that night? We’ve got you: Here’s a full breakdown of every song J-Hope performed at his first-ever solo set. (This setlist does not include “Intro” and “Music Box: Reflection,” both of which were used as transitional songs and didn’t feature J-Hope actually rapping.)


Where it’s from: Jack in the Box, J-Hope (2022)

Why it matters: This was the first single from Jack in the Box to be released, and it signaled the start of a new era for J-Hope, so it makes sense to place it at the top of the show. His all-black outfit and dark stage set (including a box that he jumped out of to start the show, like a literal jack-in-the-box) set the tone for this first segment of his set.

“Pandora’s Box”

Where it’s from: Jack in the Box, J-Hope (2022)

Why it matters: This song outlined J-Hope’s vision for himself at the start of this new chapter for BTS. Jack in the Box borrows themes from the Greek mythological tale of Pandora’s Box, in which Pandora opened a box containing death, sickness, and other evils that were unleashed into the world. Only one thing was left in the box at the end — hope. In this song, J-Hope essentially introduced himself to the Lollapalooza audience and explained that after the hardships he’s seen, he wants to live up to his name and be “the last hope.”

“Base Line”

Where it’s from: Hope World, J-Hope (2018)

Why it matters: The first song from an older era, “Base Line” delves into J-Hope’s journey as an artist and dancer. Not only is he proving to his audience that he reached this point of success in his career due to hard work, but he also raps that “Gratitude for my work is my real base” as a thanks to his audience.

“BTS Cypher Pt.1”

Where it’s from: O!RUL8,2?, BTS (2013)

Why it matters: Speaking of giving thanks to his audience, J-Hope prefaced this track by saying, “This is for the OG ARMY out there,” referring to BTS’ fan base. “BTS Cypher Pt. 1” comes from BTS’s second-ever release, in the first year of their career when they were still trying to gain recognition among both hip-hop and K-pop listeners. Choosing to rap this verse of his at Lollapalooza is as a salute to where he came from, as well as a shoutout to the other members of BTS, since this set marks his first full solo concert without them.


Where it’s from: Hope World, J-Hope (2018)

Why it matters: What better way to follow the excursion into the hard work of his past with a celebration of his success? “HANGSANG” is more of a hype song, detailing J-Hope and BTS’ dreams coming true as their group got bigger internationally. BTS was already the most successful K-pop groups in 2018 when he released this song, but performing it in 2022 when they’ve smashed more records and have become one of the most successful groups, full stop, makes each line in this song ring even truer.

“P.O.P (Piece Of Peace) Pt. 1”

Where it’s from: Hope World, J-Hope (2018)

Why it matters: Similar to “Pandora’s Box,” “P.O.P” functions as a manifesto of sorts for J-Hope. Rather than looking at himself introspectively, he raps about his relationship with his audience and how he wants to be a “piece of peace” in their lives amid the darker times in their lives.

“= (Equal Sign)”

Where it’s from: Jack in the Box, J-Hope (2022)

Why it matters: This song is one of the softer ones off Jack in the Box, and its emphasis on equality and togetherness makes it perfect for a festival stage like Lollapalooza that has people coming together from all over to watch J-Hope perform. Many LGBTQ+ fans have also claimed it as a favorite due to the lyrics that state love can transcend gender.


Where it’s from: Jack in the Box, J-Hope (2022)

Why it matters: J-Hope claims on this track that he believes “there are no bad people in the world” and raps about his hopes for the future of human nature, despite the hate and evil he sees played out every day. This optimism is a uniting feature of J-Hope’s lyrics.

“Blue Side”

Where it’s from: Hope World, J-Hope (2018)

Why it matters: The outro track on Hope World, “Blue Side” shows J-Hope’s yearning to return to the simpler times in his life, before his fame as a member of BTS. The song acted as a calmer moment during the set, with J-Hope swaying to the beat with the crowd.

“Safety Zone”

Where it’s from: Jack in the Box, J-Hope (2022)

Why it matters: “Safety Zone” is of a more self-exploratory nature than some of J-Hope’s other tracks, and finds him wondering if he has a “safe zone” at all, and if so, where it is. J-Hope has called this song his favorite on the new album and said he has a “soft spot” for it, so of course it has to be included on the setlist.

“What if…”

Where it’s from: Jack in the Box, J-Hope (2022)

Where it’s from: Jack in the Box, J-Hope (2022)

Why it matters: “What if…” samples “Shimmy Shimmy Ya” by Ol’ Dirty Bastard, a founding member of the Wu-Tang Clan. J-Hope paid homage by showing an image of him on the screen, to raucous cheers. (He would also later continue his track record of shouting out the Black artists behind some of his hit songs during his set, including DJ Webstar and YoungB whom he sampled on “Chicken Noodle Soup.”)


Where it’s from: Jack in the Box, J-Hope (2022)

Why it matters: J-Hope bookended the “dark” half of his set with the two lead singles from Jack in the Box. Where “MORE” saw him wanting to reach greater heights (“My work makes me breathe, so I want more”), “Arson” sees the danger — and thrill — in that level of ambition. He compares his success to setting a fire, and at this crossroads in his career with BTS’s new chapter beginning, he asks himself, “Do I put out the fire, or burn even brighter?” The second half of his Lollapalooza set should give you the answer to that question.

“Dynamite (Tropical Remix)”

Where it’s from: BE, BTS (2020)

Why it matters: At this point, J-Hope took a short break from the stage, only to emerge again from the box he first came out in — this time in an all-white outfit and backed by a crew of dancers in bright colors. He signaled a shift from the grittier sound and self he explored in Jack in the Box with a return to the bright, dancing, entertaining J-Hope most ARMYs have known and loved for years. Doing a tropical remix of what is arguably BTS’s biggest song in the U.S. was also a sweet tribute to the other BTS members, especially with Jimin there in Chicago to cheer him on from the crowd.


Where it’s from: Hope World, J-Hope (2018)

Why it matters: “Daydream” was J-Hope’s second-ever solo single, and the title track for his first solo mixtape. It, possibly more than any other song, set the tone for J-Hope’s attitude, sound, and style as a solo artist, so bringing it back for his first solo concert is a full-circle moment.

“Outro : Ego”

Where it’s from: Map of the Soul: 7, BTS (2020)

Why it matters: “Ego” is J-Hope’s most recent solo track for a BTS project, but also rings a little bittersweet for fans, despite its upbeat tune. The group’s Map of the Soul World Tour was canceled due to the pandemic, meaning that J-Hope never got to perform “Ego” in front of a live audience — until now. Fans who watched his set online have jokingly said that this performance caused “emotional damage” to ticket holders of the original tour.

“Hope World”

Where it’s from: Hope World, J-Hope (2018)

Why it matters: Not only is Hope World an album and song title (and the name of J-Hope’s studio), it’s also a fictional place J-Hope has created where he’s building his own story and leading others into optimism and happiness. This song serves as a welcome to new fans, of which there were many at Lollapalooza.

“Trivia : Just Dance”

Where it’s from: Love Yourself: Answer, BTS (2018)

Why it matters: “Just Dance” is similar to “Ego” in that it’s a solo J-Hope track on a BTS album. Unlike “Ego,” however, J-Hope performed “Just Dance” the last time he had performed at a concert in Chicago in 2019, before the pandemic. The performance was especially emotional for fans who had seen him live that year, and were reliving their own concert experiences.

“Chicken Noodle Soup (feat. Becky G)”

Where it’s from: Chicken Noodle Soup, J-Hope feat. Becky G (2019)

Why it matters: What’s a fantastic setlist without a surprise guest? Fans had been speculating about J-Hope looping in collaborator Becky G for his Lolla set for some time, and the singer even teased fans by posting a fake photo of her supposedly watching J-Hope’s set from home right before she went out on stage. The performance also brought about a sweet friendship moment where Becky G praised J-Hope and told him she was proud of him. Aww.


Where it’s from: Jack in the Box, J-Hope (2022)

Why it matters: J-Hope looked back on his past and reflected on his present throughout the whole set, but with his closing song, he decided to look forward instead. He’s deciding to “just go with the flow” and “betting on faith, courage, and hope” to help take him where he needs to be. Considering it got him this far — to the festival stage with the biggest crowd in Lollapalooza’s decades-long history — it’s not a bad plan.

Erica Kam is the Life Editor at Her Campus. She oversees the life, career, and news verticals on the site, including academics, experience, high school, money, work, and Her20s coverage. Over her six years at Her Campus, Erica has served in various editorial roles on the national team, including as the previous Culture Editor and as an editorial intern. She has also interned at Bustle Digital Group, where she covered entertainment news for Bustle and Elite Daily. She graduated in 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in English and creative writing from Barnard College, where she was the senior editor of Columbia and Barnard’s Her Campus chapter and a deputy copy editor for The Columbia Spectator. When she's not writing or editing, you can find her dissecting K-pop music videos for easter eggs and rereading Jane Austen novels. She also loves exploring her home, the best city in the world — and if you think that's not NYC, she's willing to fight you on it.